Thursday, 1 December 2011

That's settled then

So, the Davis family settled their noise nuisance case out of court yesterday. I have mixed feelings about this. Whilst I am genuinely pleased for them, in the sense that they can probably now get on with their lives without the spectre of a High Court case influencing their daily lives, it is sad that the opportunity for a precedent has at least for now receded. I completely understand why this couple settled - it was after all their battle, not a battle on behalf of similar sufferers the world over.

However, the out of court resolution of this case is in itself indicative that there can indeed be a problem with noise nuisance from wind farms. The case would not have lasted as long as it did if it was a frivolous action. Indeed, the fact that the case was settled out of court indicates to me at least that the energy company concerned probably realised the game was up and that they needed to do something to limit the damage not only to themselves, but to the industry as a whole.

The take home message for me is that if individuals can find a way of financing such actions and they have sufficiently robust evidence of their complaint, then they should seriously consider litigation. If sufficient actions are bought, perhaps one day one of them will result in a legal ruling of value to everyone. In the meantime, we can only hope that legislators, planners and developers across the country will take note and consider the consequences of sighting turbines too close to people's houses, after all the Davis family have now shown that there is mileage in pursuing noise nuisance cases.